The Specter of the Holocaust
“We still have the option of Jihad.” These were the words of PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat after three Palestinians were killed when Israeli soldiers returned fire leveled at them in the Gaza Strip. Need we be reminded that this man was anointed by the Nobel Committee as a world-class peacemaker? Nor should we neglect to restate the fact that Chairman Arafat has repeatedly threatened or called for Holy War (Jihad) against his peace partner, Israel, before and since he was honored. Thus, we are served with a grim reminder that while Israel attempts to press on with the peace process, her entrenched enemies—including Arafat, who has promised so much but delivered so little—have quite another outcome in mind.
It is of no little interest, particularly in view of the content of this issue of Israel My Glory, that the leadership of the Islamic resistance to Israel’s existence is using the same rhetoric as Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels, and other notorious anti-Semites. The rationale for their hatred of Jewish and determination to destroy the Jewish state is based in part on the infamous “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”—a document long since proved a forgery created for the express purpose of giving cause to despise and annihilate Jews.
That Islamic militants are using the Protocols was confirmed in a series of interviews with Islamic fundamentalist leaders by Kenneth R. Timmerman, an investigative journalist who directs the Middle East Data Project in Washington, D.C. Timmerman found that the Protocols are widely quoted and circulated by Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood in places like Damascus, Amman, and Gaza. In an interview with members of Islamic Jihad, the Protocols were cited as a declaration of intent by Jews to take over the world and, in the process, kill Muslims and Christians. In the group being interviewed was a 21-year-old Islamic University student, Hisham Ismail Hamed who would, a few days after the interview, strap a bomb to his body and ride his bicycle into an Israeli checkpoint in Gaza, killing himself and three Israeli soldiers.
Dr. Ahmad Bahar is widely recognized in Gaza and among Western diplomats as one of the main spokesmen for the political wing of Hamas. When asked to explain the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Dr. Bahar replied, “The Protocols were written by those who call themselves Wise Zionists. The former leaders of Israel met together, and they planned how they would control the world. And they added to those plans the color of religion, in order to gather support from all Jews from all over the world. In the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, they claim that they are the masters of the world and the selected people of God, and they tried to implant those ideas and concepts into the minds of the Jews, as if it had been quoted directly by the Torah and the Talmud.” The purpose of the Islamic movement in Gaza, he went on to say, is “bringing justice to the world to defeat the devil … we are calling on the world to help us defeat the devil … It is clear from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion that the Jews want to conquer the world.” And so it follows, in the minds of Islamic extremists, that in claiming their homeland in the Middle East, Israel is an agent of the Devil and must be dealt with accordingly.
A staple in the anti-Israel pantry of fundamentalist Islamic theoreticians is denial of the Holocaust. In this, as well as in attempting to legitimatize the Protocols, they join neo-Nazis and supremacist cadres the world over who conspire to fan the flames of anti-Semitism. Their obsession with fictionalizing history in order to maintain a public platform from which to justify genocide serves up a somber reminder. The specter of the Holocaust has not departed the scene—far from it. So it is not only commendable to remind ourselves of what took place in Europe a half century ago, it is imperative for us and for future generations to know that it can happen again.